- Hardcover: 400 pages
- Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (August 2, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765302624
- ISBN-13: 978-0765302625
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 87 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #823,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blind Lake Hardcover – August 2, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Wilson (The Chronoliths) grapples with the ineffable in a superior SF thriller notable for credible characters and a well-crafted plot. In the mid-21st century, revolutionary new technology allows scientists to watch life forms on planets circling other stars as if they were just a few feet away. At Blind Lake, one of two installations devoted to this purpose, Marguerite Hauser studies an enigmatic alien being who has been dubbed Subject, while also dealing with her ex-husband, Ray Scutter, a mid-level bureaucrat who constantly questions her fitness to have custody over their daughter, Tessa. Then Blind Lake mysteriously goes into lockdown the day after Chris Carmody, a journalist beset by self-doubt and a sordid past, arrives in hopes of finding a story that will restart his career. Automated trucks continue to deliver food, but all communication with the outside world is cut off. Military drones kill anyone attempting to break the quarantine. As the months pass, the installation's large population begins to come unglued. In particular, Ray, who disapproves of Marguerite's new relationship with Chris, starts to stalk his ex-wife. Tessa's possible contact with an alien even stranger than Subject adds to the suspense. Thoughtful and deliberately paced, this book will appeal to readers who prefer science fiction with substance.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
An expert creator of sf thrillers provides another superior example. Blind Lake is Minnesota's version of the Area 51 of that series (see Area 51: Nosferatu [BKL Jl 03]), but, thanks to as-yet incomprehensible technology, Blind Lake researchers study live, lobster-like aliens on a distant planet, not crashed UFOs. Nerissa Iverson and Raymond Scutter face personal and professional conflicts since their recent divorce, and she believes there are features common to all sentient beings' thought, while he believes that culture is arbitrary and aliens will always be incomprehensible. Then, without warning, the military seals the facility off, Scutter starts stalking his ex-wife, and she suspects that at least one alien is aware of being observed and may be trying to communicate. Wilson builds suspense superlatively well, to a resolution that packs all the emotional wallop anyone could wish. Wilson's fans will come looking for this one, and others will follow. Roland Green
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Top customer reviews
Wilson's technical fabric is a little flawed in Blind Lake. Early, there is recognition that the observation of events on a planet orbiting a distant star would be separated by the time it takes light to travel that distance to Earth. Later in the story, as contact between these points occurs, communication is immediate. Wilson covers off on most technical elements, albeit with generalisations, but other times he doesn't bother. It would have been easy to correct, perhaps invoking some manifestation of `spooky action at a distance', but he doesn't, leaving an uncomfortable contradiction. His unique depiction on an alien civilization, and his examination of the perils of anthropomorphism, is worthwhile.
Minor flaws aside, Wilson's characters are real and their development is both enjoyable and engaging. While some are characteristically moribund, at least in terms of his novels that I have read, this is balanced by some gritty players and events that make you laugh. So Blind Lake is an enjoyable mixed bag. One petty intrigue is that the name of a major character is totally different on the blurb of the mass paperpack edition and in the text. This disparity may also be read in the Amazon book description and editorial reviews. Not a problem with the novel, but odd.
About a year ago, I started getting rid of my paperbacks and from time to time have purchased digital copies to replace them. This is one of the books that I could just not be without. I repurchased it and read it once again and once again my dreams have taken interesting turns as I have processed and reconsidered this book.
I will read this book many more times. I enjoy the premise that the author builds upon and have very much enjoyed how this book has flavored my dreams as well. Very thought provoking. This is definitely a book that is worth gifting to friends too.
Most recent customer reviews
The story is about people btw.
Every member of the cast we meet is distinct.Read more